Getting Melatonin Supplements for a Better Night's Sleep – Do or Don't? Many people who cannot sleep well have asked themselves this question. Completely understandable! After all, there are few things more frustrating than being wide awake when you want to sleep – especially when it happens regularly.
But what can you do about it? If you've ever searched online for tackling insomnia, you've probably come across an infinite number of solutions that people swear by. Think of sleeping medicines such as Zolpidem. You've probably also heard of melatonin supplements, but what exactly is melatonin? And is buying melatonin supplements right for you to solve your sleeping problems?
This article describes what you need to know about this popular sleep supplement for deep sleep.
What is Melatonin?
“Melatonin signals in people's brains that it's nighttime and it's time to go to sleep,” said Alcibiades Rodriguez, a neurologist and medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at NYU Langone Health.
“People are somehow programmed to work or do other things during the day and sleep at night.” And the two things you need for that, he explains, are sunlight and melatonin.
Sunlight acts as a stimulant that wakes you up. When the sun goes down and it starts to get dark, melatonin levels in your body naturally increase. This process is an important part of your “internal clock”. Rodriguez explains that the melatonin level in your bloodstream starts to rise about two hours before your usual bedtime.
That process is called “Dim Light Melatonin Onset” (or DLMO). Melatonin levels remain high at night until you wake up and are exposed to light, which reduces the hormone melatonin. In the next paragraph, we will discuss the ins and outs of buying melatonin supplements in more detail.
Who Benefits From Buying Melatonin Supplements?
Melatonin supplements, which are available over the counter (usually in pill form), can be used to treat sleep disorders.
“These mainly sleep disorders related to the circadian rhythm (biological rhythm whose cycle lasts about one day), such as delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and early sleep phase syndrome (ASPS),” explains Rodriguez. “We use it to help regulate the sleep-wake cycles of people who have problems with it,” he says.
“In addition to insomnia, you can also buy melatonin supplements if, for example, you often have to work at night and have a thoughtful sleep,” says Rodriguez. However, the effectiveness varies by the body – not everyone benefits from taking a melatonin supplement. Rodriguez says melatonin has also been shown to be helpful in the elderly, whose natural levels decline with age, and children with disabilities.
Some people also use it to prevent jet lag and adjust their internal clocks for widely different time zones. You could therefore buy melatonin supplements for the above reasons. But what sets a melatonin supplement apart from other sleep aids? Let's zoom in on that in the next paragraph.
How does melatonin differ from other sleep aids?
There are many natural supplements for a better night's sleep. However, they differ from each other in terms of operation. “Technically, melatonin is not a hypnotic or a drug that makes you tired,” says Rodriguez. “It can make you sleepy at times, but that's not the main purpose of melatonin.”
A melatonin tablet probably won't put you into a deep, medicinal sleep right away, and some proponents say it probably won't make you dizzy or moody. “The overall purpose of melatonin,” Rodriguez points out, “is to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.”
The hormone melatonin, therefore, works in a different way than, for example, CBD oil supplements, which are aimed at achieving deeper REM sleep.
The Step After Buying Melatonin: What's the Right Use?
Want to buy and use melatonin supplements to minimize jet lag? Then use a melatonin supplement to change your sleep schedule before you travel.
If you travel somewhere where there is a difference of two or more time zones, you will have to adjust your circadian rhythm in the period before that to be sharp during the day and well at night during your stay in a different time zone. can sleep.
That's what a melatonin supplement can come in handy for. It probably won't completely prevent jet lag, which Rodriguez says is “inevitable,” but it can help you feel more rested.
When it comes to choosing a good melatonin supplement, Rodriguez suggests going for “pure” melatonin supplements rather than buying melatonin supplements that also contain other substances, such as valerian root and GABA. Any additional additives—even natural ones—can change the way the supplement works and make you more sleepy than you expected.
Therefore, read the label carefully to make sure that a melatonin supplement contains only melatonin and no other substances. Although melatonin supplements are sold in various dosages, Rodriguez says it's not necessary to take more than one to three milligrams at a time. “A dose that is too high can result in unpleasant side effects, such as a hypnotic effect and feeling too sleepy to function properly,” he says.
Is Melatonin Safe?
Buying melatonin supplements may sound appealing after reading this article, but many people wonder whether this hormone is safe. This is logically completely understandable! To get straight to the point: Melatonin can lead to side effects such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, and drowsiness.
Side effects – such as headaches and nightmares – usually occur when you take high doses. In general, however, melatonin is safe as long as it is used correctly and the recommended daily intake is not exceeded. If you're taking a low-dose melatonin supplement, it's likely safe to take for a long time.
That being said; if you have sleeping problems, it is always worth checking with your doctor before taking any medication or supplements for a good night's sleep, such as melatonin. Your doctor can effectively help you identify possible underlying problems. For example, your insomnia can be the result of a medical problem. In other words, buying and using melatonin supplements should be done in consultation with a doctor.